Objective: Maternal attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder has not been investigated in relation to parenting skills in adolescent mothers. This study investigated whether maternal inattention and hyperactivity/ impulsivity symptoms early in pregnancy predict poorer parenting skills and infant maltreatment during the first year of life in adolescent mothers living in adverse environmental conditions. Methods: The participants in this study were 80 adolescent mothers aged 14-19 years and their babies who were taking part in a randomized controlled trial on the effects of a home-visiting program on infant development. Symptoms of maternal attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder were assessed in the first trimester of pregnancy. Parenting skills (maternal competence, attachment to the baby, home environment) and child maltreatment were assessed when the infants were aged 6 and 12 months. Multilevel linear regression models were constructed to test the extent to which prenatal maternal inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms predicted these parenting variables during the first year of the infant’s life. Results: Prenatal inattention symptoms significantly predicted lower maternal competence and attachment, a poorer home environment, and greater maltreatment during the first year of life. Hyperactivity did not significantly predict parenting skills or maltreatment. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that inattention symptoms may interfere with parenting abilities in adolescent mothers and should be considered in early intervention programs.
de Oliveira, J. V., Fatori, D., Shephard, E., Neto, M. X., Matijasevich, A., Ferraro, A. A., … Polanczyk, G. V. (2022). Inattention symptoms in early pregnancy predict parenting skills and infant maltreatment during the first year of life. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, 44(4), 388–400. https://doi.org/10.47626/1516-4446-2021-2045